In the wake of the news that he was caught in a Federal wiretap, and involved in a prostitution ring, Eliot Spitzer announced today that he will resign as Governor of New York.
His resignation will effective on Monday and “Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson will be sworn in to replace him.”
In an appearance that lasted 140 seconds at his Midtown Manhattan office, with his wife Silda Wall Spitzer at his side, the governor offered an apology to his family and to the public and said he would devote himself to serving “the common good.”
“From those to whom much is given, much is expected,” Mr. Spitzer said. “I have been given much: the love of my family, the faith and trust of the people of New York and the chance to lead this state. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me.”
“Over the course of my public life, I have insisted — I believe correctly — that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct,” he said. “I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.”
Spitzer took no questions after announcing his resignation. Spitzer’s resignation “came less than 48 hours after it emerged that he had been a client of a high-end prostitution ring, caught on a federal wiretap that had been prompted by his own efforts to quietly make payments to the agency, Emperors Club VIP.”
Spitzer is the first New York governor to “resign from office since 1973, when Nelson A. Rockefeller stepped down to devote himself to a policy group, and the first to be forced out since William Sulzer was impeached in 1913 over a campaign contribution fraud.”
“I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been,” Mr. Spitzer said in announcing his resignation. “But I also know that as a public servant I, and the remarkable people with whom I worked, have accomplished a great deal. There is much more to be done, and I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”
The full text of Spitzer’s resignation is here. Evidently the Feds had been watching Spitzer for some time, as the WaPo reports:
Weeks before a hotel meeting with a prostitute that threatens to derail his career, the FBI staked out New York Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer at the same hotel in an unsuccessful effort to catch him with a high-priced call girl, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.
The FBI placed a surveillance team on Spitzer at the Mayflower Hotel for the first time on Jan. 26, after concluding from a wiretapped conversation that he might try to meet with a prostitute when he traveled to Washington to attend a black-tie dinner, the source said Tuesday.
The whole thing was incredibly stupid in Spitzer’s part. To think that he wouldn’t eventually get caught. However, I can’t help but wonder about the Feds watching him, considering how he is reviled by the right wing. And on that note, the wingnuts are in a tizzy over this one. See Memeorandum for all the buzz.